Detroit Tigers starting pitchers will look to build on a solid 2016 campaign during the coming season. If each of the five starters pitches well, Detroit could take home some trophies.
If 2016 taught us anything about the Tigers, it is that things can drastically change over the course of a season.
By the end of the year, Justin Verlander was leading the rotation and looking like a candidate for the Cy Young.
However, at that point, the aforementioned veterans were nowhere to be found.
Due to injury, Zimmermann was limited to four starts after June 30.
Meanwhile, Greene moved to the bullpen full time, while Pelfrey appeared in just two games after July 31.
More from Detroit Tigers News
- Detroit Tigers: Victor Reyes finding ways to get the job done
- The Detroit Tigers must cut their losses and release Jonathan Schoop
- Detroit Tigers: Garrett Hill’s new role and changed delivery are excellent
- Detroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022
- Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?
Rounding out the group is Sanchez, who spent 11 games in the bullpen during the season.
In the place of the veterans, Fulmer, Norris and Boyd stepped in and pitched brilliantly for three pitchers with little-to-no Major League experience. The trio nearly vaulted the Tigers into the playoffs.
Heading into 2017, what exactly will the Detroit Tigers rotation look like?
Detroit’s 2017 Starting Pitchers
Verlander will once again lead the rotation. The future Hall of Famer will start on Opening Day in Chicago for the Tigers and should once again be in contention for the award handed to baseball’s best pitcher.
Joining him in the rotation when healthy are Fulmer, Zimmermann and Norris. If Fulmer can continue to pitch like he did as a rookie, and if Zimmermann can rebound, Detroit will be in excellent shape.
Following the duo in the rotation is Norris.
The former Toronto prospect has posted a 3.48 ERA since joining the franchise in the David Price midway through 2015.
In only 69.1 innings last season, the left-hander turned in a 3.94 SIERA, 9.22 strikeouts per nine frames and a 10.5 swinging strike percentage.
If he can post similar numbers this year, Detroit could very well return to the playoffs.
According to the latest tweet from the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech, Boyd will reportedly also be part of the rotation.
Fenech tweeted the following on Wednesday morning:
"“Matt Boyd will open the regular season in the Tigers’ starting rotation, manager Brad Ausmus said.”"
Boyd turned in a 4.53 ERA and a 4.75 FIP in 97.1 innings last season. However, the 26-year-old was markedly better in a 56.1 inning stretch from July 9 to September 6.
In said stretch, the Washington native pitched to a 2.56 ERA while allowing just 16 walks and earned runs. In addition, he struck out 52 and held opposing batters to a .294 on-base percentage.
If Boyd can perform at a similar level, the sky is the limit for the Detroit Tigers in 2017.